California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) has launched Climate Tech Finance, a loan guarantee program for emerging technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at public facilities, small businesses, and eligible nonprofits. In support of this effort, Energetics developed a technology assessment matrix to evaluate emerging climate technologies across several key metrics, including emissions reduction potential, economics, technology readiness, and barriers to commercialization. The resulting product informed development of the Climate Tech Finance program.

The Air District is a public agency that regulates the stationary sources of air pollution (refineries, manufacturing facilities, residential and commercial buildings, etc.) in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2017, the Air District published the Clean Air Plan, a call to action that lays the groundwork for a long-term effort to reduce Bay Area GHG emissions. The agency saw a need to incentivize operators of stationary sources to adopt GHG mitigation measures, such as through a financing program, if the goals outlined in the Clean Air Plan were to be achieved.

Planning an effective program required a clear understanding of the potential GHG reduction opportunities, as well as their likely effectiveness in achieving the goals outlined in the Clean Air Plan. Energetics supported the Air District by evaluating mitigation measures to identify those that demonstrate high cost-effectiveness and high ease of adoption and are suitable for the major industrial sectors in the Bay Area.

Energetics staff conducted vendor interviews in addition to reviewing dozens of technology roadmaps, regulatory agency reports, and academic publications. The team evaluated each opportunity across several variables, determining projected impacts on emissions; implementation costs; technological readiness for deployment; and any technical, market, or policy barriers to deployment. Many of the prioritized measures represent those that can be implemented at low cost and that require minimal process changes. The figure below depicts the results for the Agriculture and Waste sectors (the complete graphic is available on pages iii and 7 of the report).

Snapshot of suggested strategies for emissions mitigation measures   Following the results of this assessment, the Air District has three key strategies it can employ for a given technology: (1) Regulate and enforce technology adoption (2) Incentivize technology adoption with financial support (3) Educate and encourage technology adoption with relevant stakeholders

Snapshot of suggested strategies for emissions mitigation measures

Following the results of this assessment, the Air District has three key strategies it can employ for a given technology:
(1) Regulate and enforce technology adoption
(2) Incentivize technology adoption with financial support
(3) Educate and encourage technology adoption with relevant stakeholders

The resulting publication, Climate Technology Review: An Assessment of Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Stationary Sources in the Bay Area, evaluates nearly 200 mitigation measures that span the most emissions-intensive industries in the Air District. Using the information in this report, the Air District developed its new finance program, which encourages and helps facilities to adopt emerging technologies that reduce GHG emissions.